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Washington 108, Us 19, Philadelphia 16, Virginia 11, Williamsburg 11, America 9, United States 7, Martha 6, Daniel Parke Custis 6, Jefferson 5, Thomas Jefferson 4, New York 4, London 4, Hamilton 3, John Adams 3, Freddie Mac 3, Napolitano 3, Faa 3, Abigail Adams 3, Abigail 3,
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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    February 25, 2013
    8:30 - 10:59pm EST  

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cuts will have to wait times at airports and americans will feel the impact of the next few weeks if the cuts also known as sequestration, are scheduled to kick in march 1 and last congress reaches a deal. secretary napolitano spoke to reporters at the white house for 25 minutes. >> i appreciate the opportunity to discuss the impacts of sequestration on the operations of department of homeland security. as a primer, dhs as the very broad mission and we touch almost every aspect of the economy here if we secure the aviation sector. we screen 2 million domestic air travelers a day. we protect our borders, our ports of entry. we facilitate legitimate travel and trade. last year our cbp officers processed more than 350 million people and processed over $2.3 trillion in trade. we enforce the immigration laws.
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we partner with the private sector to protect critical infrastructure. we work with states and local communities to prepare for and respond to disasters of all types like hurricane sandy while supporting recovery and rebuilding. put simply, the automatic budget reduction mandated by sequestration would be disrupted and destructive to our nation security and economy. it would negatively affect the mission readiness and capabilities of the men and women on our front line. it would undermine the significant progress we have made over the past 10 years to build a nation's preparedness and resiliency. perhaps most criticallcriticall y it would have serious consequences to the flow of trade and travel at our nation's ports of entry. we will have to begin to furlough customs and border officers to staff those ports. at the major international airports, we will be limited in accepting new international flights and average wait times
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to clear customs will increase by as much as 50% and at our busiest airports like newark and jfk, lax and o'hare peak wait times which can reach over two hours could easily grow to four hours or more. such delays cause thousands of missed passenger connections daily with economic consequences at both the local and the national level. reductions in overtime and hiring freezes that our are transportation security officers will increase domestic passenger wait times at our busiest airports. on the southwest border our biggest lan ports could face waits of up to five hours functionally closing these ports during core hours. at our seaports delays in container examinations would increase to up to five days. resulting in increased cost to the trade community and reduced availability of consumer goods and raw materials.
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the smaller ports would experience constrained hours of operations affecting local cross-border communities. at our cruise terminals causing passengers there as well to miss connecting flights delayed trips and increase their cost. sequestration will have serious consequences for other missions as well. as i said cbp will have to furlough all of its employees and reduce overtime and eliminate its hiring positions decreasing the number of hours our border patrol has to operate between the ports of entry by up to 5000 border patrol agents. the coast guard will reduce its presence in the arctic by one third and we will curtail our air and surface operations by more than 25%, affecting management of the nation's waterways as well as fisheries enforcement, drug interdiction and migrant interdiction. under sequestration immigration
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and customs enforcement also part of dhs, will be be forced to reduce detention and removal and would not be able to maintain the 34,000 detention beds as required by congress. it would also reduce our investigative activities in areas like human smuggling and commercial trade. in terms of our nation's disaster preparedness, response and recovery efforts it would reduce the disaster relief funds by nearly $1 billion potentially affecting survivors recovery from hurricane sandy, the tornadoes in places like tuscaloosa and joplin and other major disasters across the country. homeland security grant funding with the reduced to its lowest level in seven years leading to potential layoffs of state and local emergency personnel across the country. let me close by saying this. threats from terrorism and the need to respond and recover from
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natural disasters do not diminish because of budget cuts. even in the current fiscal climate we do not have the luxury of making significant reductions to our capabilities without significant impact. we will work to continue to preserve our front-line priorities as best we can but no amount of planning can mitigate the negative effects of sequestration. as we approach the first of march i join with all of my other colleagues and with the governors who we just heard outside to ask the congress to prevent sequestration in order to maintain the safety and security and resiliency of the country. thank you. >> questions for the secretary? >> secretary were talking about reduced hours of border patrol and reduced personnel at the nation's ports. are you saying that they nation will be less secure at the border as a result of the cuts? >> no, what we are going to have to do in terms of at the actual ports of entry, we are going to
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have to continue to check for contraband and potential terrorists and the like, passengers as well as containers and other cargo. so the procedures will be the same but we will have fewer people able to do it so the lines are going to get longer. and between the ports, we are going to see a reduction in border patrol resources between the ports of entry. so it's really a very, as i said last week at a hearing, it's almost an out of body experience. last week i was testifying in the congress before the judiciary committee on the need for immigration reform and i was being asked what are we doing to strengthen security at the border and the very next day we have put record amounts of resources into the border and our border security. the very next day in the appropriations committee they said bay city were rolling it all back in the sequestration.
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>> is the border less secure if you are taking taking away our's >> you reduce the number of voters patrol agents i think you can say yes it does affect their ability to keep out illegal migrants and others trying to enter the country. speier paint a very dire picture and you mentioned the threat of terrorism doesn't wait for these kinds of legislative roadblocks. so with all the diminished capability that you describe how can a country not face a greater threat of a terrorist attack under these circumstances? >> and this fiscal environment where we go to sequestration and possible shutdowns and all the rest, always lacking a budget and regular order so we can't effectively manage and plan, we will always put a priority on maintaining the safety of the american people but what that is going to require and the impact people are going to see, and
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they will build over the next couple of weeks. you won't see it immediately like a shutdown but it will accrue over the next several weeks is that lines, procedures and wait times are all going to get longer. her example if you are traveling by air you will have to start getting to the airport earlier and if you are trained to make a connecting flight you will have to make your arrangements to give you better time with which to do that. if you are trying to bring cargo overland port of entry you will have to prepare for some very long lines. >> with there not be a greater threat? >> welders already threat e-rate we are going to do everything we can to minimize that risk but the sequester makes it awfully awfully tough. >> you said you wouldn't see these effects right away. a month, two months, three months as you look at the furlough process. when would the american public feel what you're describing today?
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>> it's not all about furloughs but it's also not being able to backfill overtime and the like and that starts immediately but i think the public will really begin to feel this in the next few weeks. so it will be accruing over the next few weeks and if you heard secretary lahood on friday talking about the effect on the faa, between the effect on the faa and the effects on the tsa and the cbp you really have the perfect storm in terms of the ability to move round the country. >> than the effects will become exponentially worse and worse? >> it will be like a rolling ball. it will keep growing. >> i've heard different answers so is the country going to be less safe after sequester in your opinion as someone who has been all over this issue for the last four years? >> i don't think we can maintain the same level of security at all places around the country with sequester as without sequester. we are doing everything we can within the limits that the sequester gives us but as i was mentioning earlier if you have
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5000 fewer border control agents you have 5000 fewer agents -- >> there will be more illegal immigrants coming in and it radar threat that terrorists could launch an attack? >> we spent the last four years with the congress putting regular amounts of personnel down to the southwest border and i know that border really well. i mean, i was the u.s. attorney in arizona and i'm from new mexico originally. i have worked that border my whole life and that border now is as secure in the last two decades. it doesn't mean we don't have more to do. there is always more to do but it's in been an unprecedented and historic effort and now because of a budget impasse, you have to begin to look at rolling back those agents and slowing hiring and getting rid of overtime which we use a lot
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between the ports of entry. that will have a real impact. >> just a few months ago governor jindal from louisiana was outside and he accused the president of trying to scare people. can you say for the record that you were not here just trying to scare people and what you are saying has to happen and is a necessity as a result of these cuts? >> i'm not here to scare people. i'm here to inform and also to let people begin to plan because they are going to see these impacts in their daily lives and they are going to have to adjust and make their arrangements accordingly. and it won't be like a shutdown where like turning off a light switch but all i can say for folks is these are the effects that will accrue. please don't yell at the customs officer or the tso officer because the lines are long. the lines over the next few weeks are going to start to
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lengthen in some dramatic ways and parts of the country. >> why can't just cut 3% out of the budget without having these devastating impacts whether it be on aviation at the faa or on security and homeland security? why not? >> that is not the way sequester works. sequester works account by account by account and you don't just take $85 billion out of the economy over six months and not expect a real impact. there are only certain amounts of things we can cut and there there -- we are personnel heavy. we secure air land and sea borders and we are out of the maritime environment and we are making sure disaster relief is flowing when we need it so these effects are the kinds of things people are going to see and they need to be able to plan for. my purpose here today is to make very clear what these impacts are likely going to be unless and until congress resolves the sequester.
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>> secretary napolitano the total number of dollars that will be taken from your department as a result of the sequester is what? >> the total number keeps changing. what would you say? [inaudible] >> about 5%. >> the reason that i am fluctuating was because it was 6% last week and because of adjustments. >> that's roughly billions. >> the way the sequester works are there other places where you could cut back in the billions of dollars to find the cuts necessary to accomplish spending cuts in american that republicans -- >> we begin in 2009 going through our department finding places where we could cut and avoid costs, to streamline our efforts as much as we can. we actually had an employee involved in this because they are the ones that oftentimes see
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places where we can save and conserve. we have already identified over $4 billion in those kinds of cuts. we are constantly working, looking to see how we can effectively and efficiently carry out all the different missions that are located under one umbrella which is dhs so yes we have cut billions are ready. >> and there are 4 billion more you are suggesting? >> we have already cut for but we are is looking for cuts and places where for example we can use technology as a force multiplier. places where we can perhaps use some some of the leftover dod equipment and put it into use for some of our missions. but you know, we continue to have as i said before, there are evolving terrorist threats and they don't go away. we are not dealing with the emerging cybersecurity threat and when i say emerging it really is here. we have huge responsibilities under that now which are somewhat new, and mother nature
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doesn't go away because of the budget cycle. so we have to deal with all of that. >> if there was more flexibility in a situation other than a sequester there would be other places you could cut which is not under the president formula? >> under the present formula, it is just a big broadbrush and treats everything as if it's equivalent. there is no prioritization and there is no planning and no management associated with it and as i said before look, people don't want to be less safe and they don't want to be less secure. they want to think that we are securing the borders. they want to believe we are enforcing immigration laws and they want to make sure that if there is a disaster there will be a prompt and effective response. these are things people expect out of the government and for us to be able to provide so with those expectations where the sequester really hit that is okay how do we do that when you
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have a cup that says well you have got to reduce your cbp hours and you have got to reduce overtime here and you can't pay this over there. that is what we are doing. >> some of the progress that has been made over the last decade, if this sick wester lasted a few week or few months are there long-term consequences that will remain or is all of the damage you describing damage that can be quickly undone if the funding returns? >> that's hard to say. it's hard to say because you have to actually see what's going to happen. all i can say is look, we are doing our very best to minimize the impacts of sequester but there's only so much i can do. i'm supposed to have 34,000 detention beds for immigration. how do i pay for those? we want to maintain 22,000 border patrol agents. i've got to be held to pay their salaries. we need to have overtime for airport officers because we are ready have a shortage of port officers. i was in miami last week at the
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airport and i heard a lot from the mayor and others in that part of florida about long wait times and from the cruise industry about their long wait times. it's very hard to work on that and try to fix that when we are probably an likely to see in the miami area and extension of wait times. so we will do everything we can to minimize the impact but there is only so much i can do. we have to protect the safety of the american people the best we can. we are committed to doing that but that means a lot of inconvenience at a minimum plus i think some chu economic loss plus the rolling back of some of our borders. these are all things we are going to see. >> i wanted to ask you there are certain statues and law that requires you to maintain certain -- as an example.
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if this particular sequestration part of plot is encouraging or compelling the department to violate another law is there anything that you can do through the courts or legally to supersede one statute for another? >> look, you know as the secretary i am working with all of these components to do the best we can to secure the publi? and now i am put between the rock and a hard place and i shouldn't have to go to court for congress to figure out a budget for the department of homeland security and for the federal government at large. we can can do this in a balanced way. we can do this in a balanced way that allows us to reign in spending and make logical cuts and costs where possible and pulled tax loopholes so we get revenue into the system. there is a balanced approach that is available but in the
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absence of the ability to come together and resolve that, what this means is this going to fall very heavily, and people will see it. sequesters a concept that's been floating around in the air that they will unfortunately have real problems that people will see overtime. >> you have to honor this and you have no legal leeway? >> not that i'm informed of. >> april in the back. >> without sequester if it happens on march 1, how vulnerable will the nation be to terrorist? >> i think if you look at the combination of the effects on dhs and the department of justice and on the department of defense, we are having real impacts on the robustness of our defensive posture and there are things that we will not be able
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to do as well like secure between the ports of entry on the land borders as we would do without sequester. in terms of maritime activities, protecting the coast as we do with the coast guard we are looking at 25% reduction because we have to accomplish the cuts between now and the end of the fiscal year so we have seven months to accomplish that. >> secretary napolitano you mentioned we will face longer lines while we are waiting. is that part of life in america instead of being more disciplined, isn't that a way that americans can contribute by waiting a little bit longer and is that so bad? >> i think you are minimizing what people are likely to see and i think that question minimize the impact on the economy for example. when you slow down the inspection of containers by up to five days, we work on a real
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inventory type of economy. if you slow down the global economy, the trade that comes into the country and leave the country that translates into lots and lots of jobs, good paying jobs and those are going to be impacted. when people can travel and get to where they need to go for business or personal reasons, that has a real impact. americans are all contributing we understand that but this is not the way to do it. sequester is about as an illogical process as you can possibly receive. [inaudible] >> and some ports it will be days, up to five. >> two follow-ups. we heard from bobby jindal a few minutes ago. governor jindal says the administration is gearing people. he said the president is scaring people. is that ron? >> i think that's wrong.
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the full impact of this is finally being made evident and so people now are saying oh, gosh what do i need to do? people need to be of the plan and know what to expect. it won't happen like the flip of the light switch but it will accrue over the next few weeks and that's why it's so important that congress come to the table and reach a balanced approach so we can get this budget impasse behind us and get on with the work of the country. >> i know you want a balanced approach and i understand that fully but if you had flexibility to make these cuts in the billions of dollars anyway you wanted in your budget could you lessen the impact? >> we could a little bit on the margins but the plain fact of the matter is they fall at such a have a level because we are so personal rich as a department that people would still experience the kinds of things that i've just described.
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>> earlier you said when asked if our country would be less secure and you said no. but you have fewer people so the lines will be longer. but then you are asked to powerful the purity to terrorists will increase and you said yes. can we just clear that up? >> yeah. at the ports where we are governing cargo and passengers, we will do the same checks and they are very important. it will take longer. what i was particularly referencing however was the rollback and border troll age and time and it's just common sense if you roll that back you make between the ports of entry less secure than the record security that is in there for the last years. i'd frankly as we move into the discussion of immigration reform and that system needs conference of change and reform, we all
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want to begin with saying look the border must be secured and it must be sustained. >> chris and then we will take one more. >> as you know the defense of marriage act is under review by the supreme court and. [inaudible] for married and same-sex couples >> the legal advice we have received is that we can't put it in advance because doma remains a lot. we would like to see the law overturned. in practical terms however most of those cases fall within very low priority in terms of what was done over the last years which is priority into immigration enforcement so we are not seeing the practicalities of those deportations. >> back in 2009 applications for
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immigrant widows and if you can do it for widows why can't you do it for corn nationals? [inaudible] >> the last question for the secretary. >> they won .5 billion trade relationship with canada for instance, how would this impact the relationship, the sequestration? and also have you been in contact with counterparts security wise to discussed -- to discuss how we could take some part of the were? >> i haven't been in touch with my counterpart and i don't know whether the acting commissioner or customs have been. but as i said in my opening remarks, we do $2.3 trillion worth of trading here in customs and border protection and canada is our largest trading partner. mexico is probably our third largest trading partner.
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that translates into hundreds of thousands of jobs in the united states. one of the chief complaints i received whenever i travel to either border is that takes too long to move the trucks across. it takes too long for passenger vehicles to get through and all i can tell you is that the sequestration that situation is not going to improve. it's going to go backwards. >> thank you very much. >> thank you. >> madam secretary, appreciated. >> what conventional diets, people think i'm just going to muscle way way through that. there are redundant systems in the body that forces us to be. how many put your hands up, how many can hold your breath indefinitely underwater?
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not a one. it's impossible. it violates a basic understanding of physiology. likewise you cannot lose weight by trying to lose weight because your biology will always be your willpower. the second thing to do is we don't measure the rights to. it doesn't matter what your weight is. it matters what your waist is. your waist which is a better predictor for health risk is greater than half of your height that is a problem. complications start to occur. my height, six-foot one inch tall. 73 inches in my height divided in half is 36.5 inches. if my waist size is more than 36.5 inches i met race. men after the age of 40 never buy a new belt size. they waltz around like this and so they mislead themselves into thinking the 32-inch waist they
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have is with their caring around at age 45 when truly is significantly greater. why is the ways more important? coast of this. take that yellow pad away. the gallbladder is the green thing. you just had breakfast in your food is moving through your stomach toward the small intestine and it will mix with the. it washes the food and as and as a wash is that it breaks down into small particles and allows you to absorb through the walls of the intestines. the intestines. where does the good go? it goes to the portal vein. it carries the transit of liver and if it's high-quality nutrients your liver loves it and will convert to whatever you need but if it's junk, if it's simple carbs that term should her liver to -- is your liver gets fatty which one quarter the puck nation has you get something else. it begins to release toxic cholesterol and the allman tom gets large and it gets pulled across the screen. that is why care about belly.
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it's not the jiggly arms in the big thighs. that will cost folks some dates but what kills this is the belly and that is beneath the muscle. that is uniquely placed there because our ancestors needed to store in times of famine. stress is the number one reason that we accumulate there. the reason that is true is because historically chronic stress was famine. he they didn't have enough food and environment he would turn out the hormones to force you to eat. >> you can see this in its entirety at c-span.org. ..
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she was observed in duty and capable. she didn't like it. she called herself a prisoner of the state. >> by the same token every person in -- saw in a real sense everything martha -- it was a business-like relationship but not i think without the -- she
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owned the who'll -- whole block. she owned a huge chunk of what williams berg was. there was a lot of tragedy in her life. she lost her husband. she was raised a rich woman. >> what she married george washington she brings with her mount vernon twelve house slaves. that's almost an unimaginable luxury. it take her ten days to travel here from valley force to mount vernon in the carriage with the slaves with her. it was a difficult journey. her experiences prepared her to become the first first lady. born in virginia, martha washington was 57 years old at 1789 when they left their
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virginia home in service to the country. this time their destination was new york city selected as a nation's first capitol where they began the first of the two-terms of president and first lady of the united states. setting important precedence from the successors in the white house. good evening and welcome to the new series, first lady influence and image. over next year we're spending time on personal biography of each of the women who served in the role in the white house as a window to american history. first installment is martha washington. richard norton smith who has a biography of george washington and patricia brady who done a biography on martha washington. why does she matter? >> she was the first and she was one of the best.
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those things always count. she was able to help george washington make it true the american revolution and then two terms as president. she was the help mate. >> it was something that you championed early and a guiding light how c-span might do it. what was your thought as a historian why studying first lady should matter in the society we live in. >> we don't know enough about them as individuals. we don't know enough about them for the windows they open upon their particular period. individually they are fascinating. collectively, it seems to me, they provide a way of not only history but the history of the country and any number of political and other institutions as well. but ultimately, i suspect our viewers will be surprised by a
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lot of the information that they hear over the next year. these are surprising stories that we're going to be telling. >> for martha washington, we went on location to a number of sites. during the next ninety minutes we'll show you the video. it will be interactive and we'll begin taking phone calls and tell you how you can be part of the conversation. you can join immediately on social media. if you're on twitter you can send us a question or comment using the #first lady. on facebook you can post comments. we'll mix the questions to the discussion. we welcome your participation. that's what it's about here. i want to go to the first fifteen or twenty minutes. the years in the white house. 1789 -- not the white house. right the presidential mansion in new york city.
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1789, she comes to new york city a few months behind george washington. let start by telling us what kind of opinion the american public had of these two people as they took the important role? >> well, the opinion they had of these two had begun with the revolution. and at that point, when martha would ride to join her husband, as she did every year at the winter camp, there would be people lining up beyond ever tree on every fence post to look at her. she said she felt as if i was a great somebody. she was somebody for the first time as his wife. and the newspapers reported on how important it was for him to have her. so they started then when they came back as president and first lady, they really already had the public hadden opinion of them. they were singular characters. the other politicians were not
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same ballpark at all. >> give people a sense of how hard it was to make the basic decisions about how the new government would function. including this role. >> well, in fact the decisions about what a republican was, what a president was inseparateble from many of those that we would perhaps almost condescendly today attribute to the east wing of the white house. would the president and first lady go to private funerals? what do you call the president? indeed, what do you call the cons consulate? the reason the questions seem trivial to us matter. each one defines a nature of new government, which was after all to some degree a spin-off from
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the royal intercede end and the country was plit between the middle between those who feared it was in any way -- george iii. then is now. it's remarkable. later we have a die dichotomy about what a president is. how close is a president and his wife get to us? the fact that mrs. washington had a friday night reception that anyone could walk in to as long as they were decently dressed. you would necessarily find that in london. and it helped to define not only her role but in a wider sense the access that americans would have to their president. >> staying with that, it's the only model that the washingtons and the rest of the founding government had were the very sort of european monarchy they had a revolution to distance
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themselves from. where do the washingtons draw their example from? >> they talked it out. people see washington always as the strong, marveled leader, it was more than a statute. he liked to talk to his associates. that's one reason he was criticized as a general. he liked to talk to the staff before making a decision. in government he thought that all the best minds of the country would get together. talk through things and make the right decision. we were the first modern republican. it's hard for us to understand there was nobody like us. whatever they did it was important. >> let's take a quick snapshot of the modern republican. a basic fact about what america liked like. the census maker was thomas
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jefferson. here are some of the facts they gathered about the new united states. the 13 former colonies had a population of under 4 million. and 577 of those were blacks and 19% and 9% were free. the per-capita-income was $437. the years of war had reduced the per-capita-income. if you translated to 2013 dollars, $11, 500. the largest cities were new york, philadelphia, and boston. what can we learn about them? >> first of all, point out that two of the thirteen states were not yet members of the union. the fact that north carolina and rhode island held back when the rest of the union adopted the constitution. america was overwhelmingly a rural, rustic farm-based society. it ended at the appalachian
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mountains. there were only in 1800 there were three roads that crossed. the united states was a nation -- it was in fact three-state nations. new england, the middle state, and the south. and each of them had one major city, philadelphia, as you said, the largest city in the nation with all of the 40,000 people. so one of the things that martha, washington, i think, frankly found, not all together to her liking was the fact that she was uprooted from the agricultural, rural, life at mount vernon that she knew and had been born in to. that she had mastered in many ways and relished. and it is only the latest chapter of her sacrifice, which in the own way, i think you can
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argue matches anything that her husband sacrificed. >> that's true. she didn't want to go to the city. she didn't want to live in the north. she wanted to be home at mount vernon. but she had to be there with her husband to do what her husband wanted to do. she gave it up. but the thing that made her unhappy was the discover once she got there that washington had consulted with john jay and james madison and john adams, they had decided that the president could have no personal life. that any entertainment, any going to visit people, any having people in was in fact a public act. they couldn't just go hang out with the friends or ask their friends over. that was just for one year. the first year was terrible for her at the same time that it was pretty good for him. because jefferson hadn't come back from paris yet.
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and that was probably his honeymoon with the president. >> let me put a quote in here. martha's state of mind in the great restrictions put upon her. it's a quote from her. i never go to the public place, indeed i think i'm more like a state prisoner than anything else. there are certain bounds set for me which i must not depart from, and i cannot do what i like i'm on stan nate and stay at home. she talked about the experience of her life taught her that the happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not our circumstances. >> very true. >> that is a remarkably wise
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observation. but it's an observation distilled from a life full of tragedy. she lost a husband, she lost all four of her children. she lost countless . >> she outlived all of her siblings. >> absolutely. and then she found herself repeatedly uprooted from the life she expected to follow george at either on the battle feemed or a different kind of battlefield and together with very little precedent they devised this new government. >> but she choose to follow him. she could have stayed behind. it's mark of their partnership. >> they were very much partners. he was miserable until he could get her to join him whenever he was. i think go to say the quoted about the prisoner in of state.
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that was in the first year of new york, which was the bad year for her. when she was still thought having to follow the rules of the men. when they went home to mount vernon, she worked on her husband so that when they went to philadelphia the next year, the rules were changed. he wasn't a prisoner. and it was also a month-long tour of the northern colonies, northern states attempting to you unit the country. she was much less happy at the time than any other time, really. >> when he moved to philadelphia and became happier. the restrictions were lifted she lived in philadelphia society, -- knew people there. we're going to show you a video from phil -- philadelphia to get a sense of their life there. >> it's here that martha washington carved out the role of what the wife of the
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president of the united states should do. some of the social events that martha washington would have been responsible for overseeing are state dinners that were held weekly on thursdays, as well as the drawing room reception. martha washington personally organized every friday evening. the state denars would have -- dinners would have been events martha would have helped to coordinate. they took place on thursday every week. the dining room on the second floor was a drug room. that's where -- drawing room martha washington held her drawing room reception on fridays. those events a little more informal compare to the dinners down here. and george washington was always in attendance. he probably preferred those social engagements on friday more than the event he held here in the room here. they were informal in nature.
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they were open to the public. anyone of social standing was welcome to attend. and most people remarking that george washington was more at ease with his wife martha washington at his side. we know martha washington lived among a household as many as thirty people. this included paid service, enslaved people from mount vernon. one of the most well known was oni judge. she was a personal maid. it's likely she would have lived right here in the house. until the time that martha washington was here in philadelphia, oni judge runs away. she escapes to claim her freedom. this was a major blow to martha washington. she felt betrayed and promised her to her granddaughters once married.
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>> washington's life in philadelphia. what do you want to comment? >> i need to say something there about 17th centuryism imagines. the -- images. the 19th century liked the idea of having an almost regale. there was no diet in the room. there was no place where they stood raised bough the others. she sat on the soft fa and gusts met her there and walked around the room as they price -- pleased. the idea it was regale it's so wrong. it was not. >> it's so frustrating that anyone who was dealt with the primary sources from the period are grateful for what we have. we're constantly hungry for more. we have countless secondhand reports from events like this. and they are anonymous.
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everyone talks about what a charming conversation list martha was. how she was careful and interested in her guests. >> her smile. her beautiful teeth. not many people had beautiful teeth then. >> it's important as we talk about the interaction with the american public, the slaves, they brought with them, we heard the story of one oni judge. it's a good way to talk about martha washington and george washington's relationship with the slaved people. when they married a good part of the wealth in virginia was built on the labor of enslaved black people. and so they agreed with it. at that time washington was strict with the slaves. as time went on, his views started to change. he was the only one of the founding fathers who freed his slaves. the rest kept them until they
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died. her opinions didn't change. it was very unfortunate. i wanted it to be different. and look for and read ever word i could. the one slave actually owned personally she didn't free. she left to her grandson. and so the truth is, she felt it was the right -- the way society was supposed to be. and that she was oni judge had let her down because she had been kind to her. show didn't understand that oni wanted to be free. she wanted to learn to read and write, and that she wanted to find christ in her own way. >> in a lot of ways, i think it can be said of washington as later on of lincoln. he outgrew the racist culture that produced him. and one major reason was because during the revolution, after having initially turned thumbs
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down the idea of recruiting free blacks, the fact of the matter is that african-americans play a vital role in the winning of the revolution. washington saw firsthand what the people were capable of doing. he saw the courage, he saw the sacrifice, he saw the humanized in a way that quite frankly on the plantation was not possible. and so life taught him a lesson in some way different from martha. >> washington spent the second term in philadelphia. your chapter in that is a tormented of the second term. one of the things we don't learn about is the trial of things like epidemics. philadelphia's population was more than decimated. 12 minuter --% died in the early part of that. what was life there? >> yellow fever is one of the diseases that one tends to think of as a southern, a caribbean disease, nawrps.
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but the east coast of the united states was frequently struck with yellow fever. and it was yellow fever was killing people right and left. alexander hamilton had a bad case but survived. that was part of the torment. but the real torment for washington was to see that his friend and his the men he respected instead of coming together to make a new form of government, were falling apart in to two parties. he would never have believed that jefferson and madison and hamilton would become enemy of one another and they would be doing everything they could to keep each other out of office instead of working together. >> before we leave this section, we're going to begin working or way back through earlier part of her life. you mention adams. and in fact, martha washington had a relationship with ab abigail adams. i have to say i was tickled to
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find out there was almost a sister hood of revolutionary ladies. can you tell us about who was in that and how they interacted? >> they had a lot of in common, they were both wives who were partners. they were not wives who were stuck to the side and left out of everything. and they both were deeply committed to the idea that this new republic. that's something they cared about. >> they were political in that sense. >> they were political in that way. and they also helped each other socially. abigail was extremely pleased and tickled by the fact that her place was to the right of martha washington on the sofa. and if another lady took her place before she arrived, the president himself would ask her to leave so that abigail could sit there. so she almost had a crush on martha washington. she was a wonderful person, she
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was. >> also abigail being an adams is left delightfully account including the friday night receptions, the one person who escapes her occasionally harsh tongue. she talk about martha washington, she didn't have a picture of of of course tour about her. a wonderful phase. even now it invokes the sense that the woman who could have been queen. george washington could have been queen. she could have been queen and not the least of their accomplishments is that each refused the crown. >> the last question for now. you paint the portrait that george washington was a robust subscriber to newspaper at the time. and martha washington devoured the paper as well.
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>> she did. she loved to read. she read a lot. when she didn't actually read the papers herself, washington would frequently spend an evening reading allowed to her and whoever else. he would read a story and they they would talk about. she was not a person who was out of going on in politics at all. >> that doesn't mean she liked what she read. >> how did . >> well,, you know, criticism but personal criticism. certainly one. phis fissures of a early day in new york was the again, quote democratic with a small d jefferson element on the lookout for anything that seemed -- [inaudible] and they were those, believe it or not, who thought the president's weekly levy on tuesday afternoon and her dinner every thursday and the friday night reception and the fact he
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road in a carriage at the federal hall. somehow they lumped it together and suspected aristocratic if not royalistic of nations. they were always on the lookout for that. not so much the first lady per se as the administration that she represented. >> right. they -- from martha and every other first lady beginning with abigail is these were privet comments and others made private unpleasant comments about her. but it didn't appear in the papers. nobody said, oh, she's uppity. she's full of herself or whatever they might want to say about her. that was off limits. once the adams came in, wives have been fair game. >> in about ten minutes we'll got calls. and you can join in. if you live in the eastern or north trail time zone.
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202-585-3880. or 202-5853881. virginia was the place where george and martha met. we are going to learn a little bit more about martha washington's life in williamsburg next. >> as close to her hometown as martha washington would ever get. she was connected with the pledge well before she was born. the great girlfriend -- grandfather roland jones was the first director. you can't get more embed in the life of the town than that. her grandfather orlando jones we have the house that is reconstructed here on the street here. they owned a plantation on queens creek outside of town. and francis married john who was
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an up and coming planter. they moved to a county no more than thirty miles away. that's where martha was born at. chestnut grove. and her growing up williams berg was of course the center of political and social and curl churl life -- cultural life in this the paf virginia. given the fact her father was engaged in a lot of april economic activity. it's the place she would have come to more often than any other place. >> it was the area where she was born too. it you were anyone in society, you came to williams berg if you were from here. her mother certainly bag williamsburg society when she became of the age where she would be brought to society. she was being brought to the balls and assemblies here. she was at the balls at the royal governor's pal lace. she was certainly at the assembly at plays like the
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rawlings tavern. when it's time to be brought to polite society. williamsburg was the place to be. her mother knew it was where her daughter needed to be. >> martha falls in love with daniel parke custis that's her first husband. she knows as a farmer, plantation owner, a man of new kept. what she doesn't know is that daniel parke custis is a son of john who owns seven properties here in williams burg. all the northern, most of the eastern shore, and she falls in love with his son daniel. thinking he's the man from new centd. when daniel goes to his father and said i want to marry martha. john said her family is not fortuned enough to marry to this family. he said no. but they were well known. her father was the clerk of new kent. martha was well known for her
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amicable personality. the one nature people fell in love with her. john blair and john go to john on martha's behalf and said if you meet the girl, you'll change your mind about her. and i would love to go back in history and find out what the meeting between john and martha was like. because whatever she said to the man, he said she was the most aimble young girl and he could not see his son marrying anything better. >> i think with we can kind of see williamsburg as her proper home away from home. it was the place where she owned property and a house in which her first husband and children are buried outside of there. all of her family, her closest members of her family are within twenty or thirty miles of williams williamsburg. she can easily reconnect with
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them. >> martha washington's home church, her great grandfather was the first minister of the church. he's buried on the inside. her grandparents and his wife they are buried here inside the church. and probably more closely connected to martha washington than anybody else other than george washington is the first husband and their first two children. it's a final resting place of dna, martha's first husband. the particular stone was ordered from london. and although he and both of the first two children, the first son and daughter, who -- in turn at the plantation outside of williamsburg their remains and the stones were moved here to basically her family church in the early part of the 20th century.
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>> this is one of the buildings that martha washington owned here in williamsburg. in fact she owned most of the whole block going back a couple of acres. which she means she owned a huge chunk of williamsburg. she stayed here throughout most of her life. williamsburg was the political social and cultural center of her world. and so she was here when her husband daniel parke custis was a prominent member of the community. and of course, she was here very often when george washington was a member of the house of burg guess. he was a political leader in the colony. and of course in order to be able to protect and promote the business interest in the area. >> some beautiful scenes of williamsburg as preserved today. what about her williamsburg years that were important to the woman she became as first lady? >> i think one of the first things you have to realize she
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was a teen when she became the fiancè of daniel parke custis. and he was twenty years older. he was a bachelor because his dad never let him married. nobody was good enough. and so not only did she overcome the elite prejudice on the part of his father, she helped bring him to a real life in his late 30s with the children and everything else. but he was so rich, he was so much richer than most people around, she came from a lower gentry family. they were not so rich. she learned how to manage property, to manage money, and to take care of things that would serve her really well for the rest of her life. she was smart. as far as money went. >> 235 when she became a widow. >> away. one statistic to put it in
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perspective. mount vernon at the peak is 8,000 acres. daniel parke custis, when they were married, when martha was 19 years old, bought 18,000 acres in to the marriage. and the vid wonderful. it understated just how much thoroughly being his father was. his tome stone today has an inscription that he wrote which announces he had never been happy except when living apart from his wife. they had a tempestuous relationship. whatever it is was that the 18-year-old 19-year-old young woman was able to say, made an amazing impression that nobody would have preconducted -- predicted. it was something about the importance of her character. >> and her personality.
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>> so she becomes a very, very, very wealth widow. the most wealthy in virginia colony at age 25. she was a catch. what was it about george washington that she saw and was attracted to? >> i think it was mostly he was such a hunk, you know, he was 6'2" in a time when most men were foot fight -- 5'8". a fabulous dancer. very charming and he liked women. he loved to talk to women always his whole life. he begun to show the kind of leadership that he would later show more of, but in the estimation of those days, he was the lucky one. she was the catch rather than he. >> a colonel at the time. >> but he would also be a real catch in a sense that she -- remember she had four children
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by daniel parke custis. two of them died, quite young, and two of them survived for now. and of course she had all of that property. and so george washington would also fulfill vital roles even as a partner. >> and i would trust him he was clearyly a person of integrity. >> on the note, so people get a sense for what life was like for women in early america. what kind of property rights did america have? >> as a widow she was in fine shape. her husband did not leave any kind of trustees. she could do what she wanted to. >> was that common? >> fairly common. it was much more common though to leave male trustees. he just didn't get around to writing the will in time. but once women married, then
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they became -- which meant that they were covered women and that all of their financial and any other cienl -- kind of dealings were carried out by their husband. >> she had a dower portion of the estate basically a third. she had a lifetime interest in. and that included, in her case about 85 slaves. the rest had to be managed for her children. >> our twitter community is really enjoying your comment of george washington as a hunk. [laughter] >> he was. >> we often see picture of martha washington, such as the portrait we have on the screen right now. in your biography, you have a very different, very attractive martha washington. how accurate is this or trailer? >> very accurate. people criticized and said why do you have to show her young? we all start young. you're not born 65 years old and
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jump out of the womb. it was important to show what she looked like as a beautiful young woman. i took a picture from mount vernon to the lab at lsu, which is forensic anthropology they did an age regression to show what she looked like at 25. i wanted to say, well, what did george see when the door was open? he walked in to the drawing room. what kind of woman did he set eyes on? it was not the old lady. it was a beautiful young woman. >> martha washington has four children. she outlived all of them. by the time she met george. what was his attitude toward the children? >> he took them on his own. he in a way adopted the grandchildren. washington loved children. he was sensitive to the fact
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that he had no children of his own. that would be a subject of pure speculation, which hasn't prevented historians from speculating. he treated her children very much as if they were his own. it's interesting on one estimate she brought 20,000 pounds to their marriage, and he spent a good deal of that peedly sending way -- immediately to ways for orders of toys, wax dolls for pat sei, the daughter, and he spent time quality time with them. and of course, lost both of them. it was chattering experience. pat sy believed to have died of epilepsy at dinner. in the dining room, and then
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jackie who had not participated in the revolution until the very end joined his stepfather's staff who most people think -- with some of camp fever and died a few dais later. >> it's common of a period. most people the average life expectancy would have been at that time mid 50s or 60s. >> you need to think of the fact that a large part of the depth the mortality figures are young children who died before they were five or six. >> the death rate among young children and against women giving birth, who so frequently died in childbirth, the figures are skewed. if you live beyond six and survive childbirth, then the chances of your living up in to the 70s were fine. >> and washington men rarely lived beyond the 50s.
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it was one reason why he was reluctant to take the presidency. he had a sense he was living on borrowed time at 57. >> time for phone calls. first up jennifer from water town, south dakota. what is your question? >> caller: hi, i was wondering what martha's relationship was to general washington's staff, people like alexander hamilton, and maybe some of the politicians around them. the younger politicians like monroe and maybe even madison, especially considering that she did lose her children. >> well, that's a great question because from the time she first gave birth at 18, 19, she was a very really wonderful mother. she doted on the grand children, children, nieces and nephews. i said during the lore with the
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young that she was more or less like a house mother at the fraternity. sha she looked out to the young men and saw to they ate enough and had dry socks. they did the important things and concerned herself with them in the way. and forever after ward, people the young men in the days remembered her as their mother and their foster mother. >> she had a sense of humor. alexander hamilton loved the ladies, and they returned his interest and at one point in the war, before hamilton married betsy skyler, and martha had a very amorous tom cat that she named hamilton in tribute to the future secretary of the tissue i are. >> i'm moving on to another question. [laughter] from tom of all things. tom. hi, tom, you're on. >> caller: thank you. there was a special relationship
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between george washington and -- how did martha washington get along with lafayette and his family? >> i'll be happy to. that he was another of the young men that she became a mother to. when he came, he was the richest man in france, he was one of the most unhappy. he was escaping from persecution by the inlaws and by the court. and he came there as a young man, he was 18 years old when is she finally met him. and she saw him as another son. she treated him that way. he loved it. he saw part of that as what america was like where people could be madeover. he could be made over. >> he also is one of the many sobers, one of the better observe ers who gives us on a window on washington. people ask why did martha spend every winter of the revolution?
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lafayette said it was simple. she loved her husband madly. >> madly. >> our next call coming from virginia, home of thomas jefferson. you're on, pat, good evening. >> caller: hi. i read washington -- [inaudible] he mentioned that the woman left because martha had told her she was going to pass her on down to her daughter, and that she liked martha but she didn't want to work for her daughter. >> it was her granddaughter. the daughter was many years dead. the oldest one was fairly badtempered and very capricious and i don't think anybody would have wanted to wok for her much
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less twhrong her. when she was told that eliza requested her and she was going to -- when they went home she would be going to live with eliz she decided enough was enough and took off. >> the mount folks are going to be yeming at me. >> martha thomas jefferson's home. >> to round out the story, friends of her smuggled her to new hampshire, i believe it was. and there was this con conundrum. one of. wanted the president toz for her return and put washington in a very awkward situation. >> ann ann arbor, michigan. up next. nancy what is your question. >> caller: i'm a republican
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historian. i wonder how you thought about the historic site deal with the read and particularly martha washington. do you think he's well vice represented? are there other things question do to talk about what she if and how he was a help mate to her husband? >> i certainly think in philadelphia, for example, that it would be good to see even more done about martha washington as the first lady there. but at mount vernon they have done an incredible job. mount vernon is really the leader among the historical houses in the nation. they have an actress 0 who portrays martha washington very beautifully. and they make clear how important she was. that she was not just a hostess. >> next up is -- shirley in tucson. >> caller: i would like to ask a question about the arlington house.
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have you been to visit it? >> pardon me? have you been to visit it? >> caller: several times. i grew up in the washington area. i was just there and i saw that it was being renovatedded and i was just curious i don't remember all of the why it was in the family. >> thank you very much. >> well, because the martha's grandson, washington, who was adopted along with his sister, tell tell kneelly lived with them thought their lives. after the washingtons died and he was on the own, he decided to build a beautiful mansion, which he did and called and it was called arlington. it was the mansion in fact never belonged to robert lee. robert married his daughter and cared for it and lived there when he wasn't on the frontier someplace building buildings.
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but it passed from washington to his daughter, mary, to lee. lee himself was more a caretaker than anything else. he's the most famous. his name is included. >> if you want to humanize the washington. it's a wonderful universal story about how george and martha agreed to disagree about george washington known as tub. who was most people agree spoiled royally by his grandmother. he was in and out of school. and the wonderful letters in which washington is -- the benefit of his life's experience about, you know, how if you work all day long. it's amazing how much you can get done and et. cetera, et. cetera, et. cetera. totally wasted on tub, who would go on to become famous for his connection to george
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washington. >> when the new couple married, george washington was in the process of building mount vernon. >> mount vernon existed as a four-room farmhouse. it was in the process of adding a second story. so then it was an eight-room house with a attic area at the top. >> doing that to bring his new wife there? >> he paid for it himself too. i think it was partly his pride that he didn't want to be marrying a rich woman and using her money to make his house. i think it was to show that he too had a lot to offer. >> both of you spent hundreds of hours at mount vernon. is fair to call it center piece? >> absolutely. >> of course. >> it was the north star. the place they always wanted to return to. the place they were happiest. and, you know, it's remarkable,
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not to entrepreneur -- jump ahead within after the president died maybe the sacrifice of all -- and yet the last ultimate she was willing to have his remains removed from mount vernon and moved to the new capitol building in washington, d.c. fortunately that never happened. bureaucracy took over. >> shows how bad politics works out well. they got arguing and didn't take him away. >> well, let's show you next some of the solution -- view of mount vernon when he visited with the camera. >> it's clear that after are in arrived at mount vernon in april of 1759, there's a lot of management she has to did. when she marries george washington, she brings with her to mount vernon 12 house slaves. that's really almost an unimaginable luxury. these are slaves for the most part, not field labor.
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they are not producing crops, which is where the income is coming from. they are doing things like cooking, serving at table, cleaning the house, doing the laundry, doing sewing. it's not productive labor. she brings the slave with her and financial resources to the marriage as well as her manager skills. making mount vernon a successful operation and makes it possible for washington to be away for eight years fighting a away. so the fact that washington has this support system that enables hem to -- him to volunteer the time and talent to run the revolution is clearly critical. >> a farm manager during most of the revolution is around washington a distant cousin of george washington and later the farm manager is george washington who is washington's nephew, and he ends up married
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fannie, who is martha washington's niece. i think that tells you something about the closeness of the family relationship. >> it's clear from the response while they're at mount vernon with martha washington, she was a take-charge woman. in term of her interaction with the slaves, she is interacting with the cooks in the kitchen, the maids serving in the house, there are also slave women who are spinning on a continual basis to produce yarn. she was supervisorring the gardens. she liked having a kitchen garden she could go out and bring in vegetable that are going to be able to serve at mount vernon. she is the one planning the menu. there are a lot of levels she is working with. so that's a big operation. really, the center of her whole
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life. >> if you visit how about vernon today, with the years of additional documentary research. how close is it to recreating the life that george and martha washington experienced? >> nothing today will recreate the life of that time. for one thing, they have to take the things motorized videocassettes away. they would have to have hey hay stakes and outdoor toilet. there was so much about the life so much more primitive than it is. but as close as you can today, it's very good. as i said, it's the leader in the historical houses. >> george washington's crops were what and what kind of businessman was he? >> that's one of the aspect of his life that is least understood. he was, for those who think of him as a conservative, they should take a look at the approach to agricultural. which is probably the thing he loved about.
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he had a great passion for it. he was a real experimental farmer. he realized, for example, that -- which is not great fertile soil to begin with, was being exploited by tobacco. that tobacco really should be a crop of the past. he experimented with over sixty different crops to see what would work best. the other thing a quick point i want to make is the apprenticeship that running mount vernon offered, if there was an ad for first lady in 1789, martha washington's prior experience really qualified her uniquely. and one of the things she did, if you go to mount vernon fad you'll notice there are two in effect wings added during the revolution. which, by the way, she oversaw the construction there's the dining room which is is a public
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place. and private wing that stains their bedroom and his study. one of the jobs she had, they had 600 people a year, strangers who showed up because they want to see the most famous man on earth. they were all welcome and greeted. most of them were fed and given a bed overnight. even washington got sick of the demands. he would demeanor in the -- disappear in the evening going to the study leaving martha to converse with the visitors. >> martha washington, and george's bedroom was one of the other video we choose. there's so much to see. let's tornado watch now. >> okay. >> the room we refer to and show off in the mansion as the washington's bed channel intera room that was part of the south wing of the mansion here at mount vernon started in 1775, right before george washington left to participate in the
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continental congress and the revolutionary war. george washington refers to it as mrs. washington's chamber. it was clear it was the center of her nerve center for mount vernon. sort of daily routine was when mrs. washington got up. she typical spent time in the chamber doing her hour of spiritual meditation. perhaps later in the day, writing letters, talking with her cooks to plan menus for the day, giving assignments for what was to be done that way. -- day when her grandchildren were young she used the room for teaching them, reading them stories, suing suing in -- seeing in the afternoon. you can imagine how wonderful it would have been in the room. one of the most notable pieces is the bed that is in the bed chamber. that's the bed which george washington died. we also know from martha washington's will she had a
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personal fellow acquiring the bed. it's a bit larger than the typical dimension for an 18th century bed. it seems perhaps she's getting a custom-made bed for her tall husband. another piece in the room that has a close connection with martha washington is her desk. although very little of the correspondent between george and martha described. she described it. it was in that desk that the two of letters were found they had slipped behind one of the drawers. that desk is special to us. it's preserver of that little bit of personal -- i can picture sitting in the easy chair by the fire with the grandchildren around and so question imagine how comfortable it must have been for martha washington.
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>> george and martha washington's bedroom in mount vernon. one of the things that is mentioned is the morning meditation. it seemed to be sacred time for her. do we know she was doing? >> she was a member of the church of england and after the revolution, she became a member of the american episcopal church. she had several bible. she read the bible. she also read the book of common prayer. she spent a lot of time also reading other books about the episcopal point of view, and she was a very, very deeply religious but not judgmental woman. >> what about the video is important to tell people more of their room together and the life they have? >> that's -- the fact she burned the letters in some ways is a metaphor. that's where they could be themselves. that's where they could say to
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each other what they didn't say anywhere else. and i think one reason why she burned the letters is because that was the unvarnished george washington. it wasn't simply the uniquely intimate relationship that existed between them. she was the only person on earth to whom washington could confess his -- doubt, his fear, his opinion of the colleagues. you name it. >> here is the . >> this is the interesting thing about that. they both had a sense they were creating an image larger than his lifetime. that they didn't want to be spoiled by . >> but her -- she was careful of his papers as was he. they were always kept in a big trunk and when they seem they might in danger. the trunk was seen removed. that building his image but truthful image. having the letters, showing him as a military man and as a
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political man were important. but as far as she was concerned, their private life was just that. that ladies did not promise nate about letting their husband's love letters be read or when they complained or whatever else they did. those were private. and she had not enough privacy in her life. >> what is the content of the two letters hidden in the desk? >> they were fabulous. that from him to her. they were in 1775 in philadelphia, when he is just accepted command of the continental army which doesn't exist yesterday of a nation that doesn't exist yet in 1775 without asking her, he is writing saying my dearest, i had to accept this. my honor required it. please, my dear, don't be angry with me. ..
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i knew who is being talked about. she was always called patsy. lady byrd johnson was never called claudia. so i was just wondering, but i heard that as you mentioned, in his letters, when he researched her in the letter that was just mentioned, that he did call her patsy. i also wanted to mention in this story that i am reading about more than george washington, that the house, mount vernon, it was originally the home of his half-brother, george washington's half-brother. he lived on a smaller fun and i wondered if you are going to say
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anything about his years as a surveyor, or is this really about the years with martha as an adult? >> host: this is actually a great question. we will be talking about the nickname patsy. >> guest: that was a nickname, just as peggy is a nickname for margaret. that nickname has fallen out of favor. but nobody was named patricia back then. so that was simply a common name >> host: the small farm that she was referencing. >> guest: it was smaller because it was only 500 acres at that point. washington was eber to acquire more acreage with martha's money. but the farmhouse his brother lived in was before room farmhouse that i mentioned.
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he then added a second story to it. >> host: sherry is with us from arlington, texas. >> caller: thank you for taking my call. i'm wondering if you could clarify about the relationship. was he aware of that relationship, and how did george washington honestly deal with that? was that something that just was not discussed? >> host: mr. smith, would you like to start? >> guest: here's a classic example of where unfortunately mrs. washington did no good by burning his bridges. in the late 1950s, two things were discovered. the reigning washington
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biographer made a great deal out of -- some would say perhaps exaggerated -- the significance. it had to do the life of george williams fairfax, he was a neighbor, washington's best friend. i would use the words infatuation. sally was a little slightly older, very sophisticated. he wanted to be part of the colonial aristocracy.
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nevertheless, sally held a special allure. exactly what that was is still being debated. we talk about george washington's integrity. i don't think the relationship went beyond a kind of lovesick young man. >> guest: we will not disagree that there is no doubt that he was a lovesick puppy. but they make sense, when you read them sentence by sentence, if you try to punctuate them, he had sort of gone crazy because she had said something about not writing to her. and you see how much he cares about her.
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once she started to settle down, i think she had to know that she was a smart woman. when she started talking about the elegant neighbors, she had to pick up a special term. they became best friends. couples visited all the time. sally fairfax is there when the funeral took place in midsummer. when she had to be buried. so they were very close. the fairfax has been go to
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england, never to return. so it never goes beyond friendship. >> host: we have a caller who is named after the fairfax family. from fairfax, virginia. >> caller: her younger brother, bartholomew, he was a great great uncle of mine. i was also born in lincoln county, virginia, and i had a couple of questions pertaining to the younger lights. i had always heard growing up that she had been george washington. at poplar grove, which was a plantation property next door to the white house. and that he had been aghast of the chamberlains there for dinner and not knowing that martha was invited also. that is where they met. the other question is that i
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understood she attended st. peter's festal church, which was a very short distance from the white house. >> guest: when we reference the white house, it's not the white house that we know. the white house is the plantation on the river where daniel custis resides there. st. peter's was the church. there are different stories about how they match. some people have said that she and george had known each other for a long time. i don't think that there is much belief and not, because when you run the numbers up when he was out on the field fighting, when she could have been in williamsburg, it didn't amount to very much. the whole chamberlains story really comes from mr. custis, who really likes to write about everything in the grand old-fashioned. the chamberlains, do they
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believe that? i don't believe so, but there is certainly evidence. >> host: time to move on to the revolutionary war. george washington is the leader of the continental army. the martha washington went to mount vernon to spend how many times with him? >> guest: every winter. to make a home not just for him, but for all the young officers who are on his staff and encourage other officers to bring their wives and daughters and make it a social time. a social time out of the eight years of the revolution. >> host: we have a video from one of those contaminants. valley forge and the philadelphia suburbs. let's watch that now. >> martha washington came to valley forge on the fifth of
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february of 1778. she arrived here according to general nathaniel greene, in the evening. it would take her 10 days to travel here to valley forge from mount vernon. we know that the weather was interesting while she was traveling. but it started out snowing, it was not always so pleasant. she left from the mount vernon area. then the winds picked up and it started to rain. it became very muddy. when she arrived here on february 5, it was actually quite pleasant and the weather was 35 degrees. but for a lot of the time, she was traveling through mud. in her carriage with her slaves and servants with her. this was a difficult journey. >> it is very interesting to look at the primary documentations. the letters and journals and diaries of the time to see what martha did at valley i valley forge. it is a little surprising, and it puts a different complexion,
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i think, on the entire valley forge encampment. i think number one was to be the general washington. they had a very nice relationship. if she was going to see him, she was going to have to come to him. when she came to valley forge, she probably takes a older the housekeeping duties, which was very much what she was used to. of course, at mount vernon. we also know that she entertained. we know that elizabeth came to valley forge. she came on april 6, she came with several of her friends. we know that mrs. washington entertained and talk to visitors when they came to valley forge when general washington was not able to do that. we also know, and this is when it starts to be very interesting, she serves elegant dinners here at valley forge. most people would never put the word elegant together with the word valley forge.
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this is probably one martha washington dined for a while. she set the log hut made their conditions much more tolerable than they were at first. that is a quote from her. so you can imagine martha washington here. with some of the officers, general washington, perhaps some of the people from the area that could've been passing through. eating dinner here, which was served in the afternoon, maybe 2:00 o'clock or 3:00 o'clock. the life was very different here from what the soldiers were eating. there were 2000 eggs brotman during the encampment time. we know that they brought in
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750 pounds of butter, at least 1600 pounds of veal were also brought into camp. these are some of the things that martha washington would be eating here as she was dining with people. she is kind of interesting to think about. what would they be talking about? we don't really know, of course. but when elizabeth came from philadelphia, very likely the conversation at that point would've been what we're conditions like in philadelphia. general washington would've been very interested about that condition throughout the time and martha would be part of that conversation. talking to ladies from philadelphia, which she very greatly enjoyed. we know that she also went to several worship services. we know that on may 5 there is a wonderful celebration
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celebrating the french alliance. martha washington is bare and perceived in the center of a large tent. with thousands of people, officers, and thousands of them are entertained. they served refreshments. those are some of the things that martha did here at valley forge. >> host: we are back talking about martha washington with patricia brady and richard norton smith. we have a tweet from jennifer. she talked about the time that martha spent with her husband on the phone -- front line. 2500 soldiers died in that encampment up winter. >> guest: yes, one of the things
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that fostered an emotional bond between mrs. washington and what would be the american people was the perception that she had sacrificed every bit as much as her husband during the war. this is another chapter in her training in a sense, for her training as first lady. he was an executive come the closest of the country had, and she was the first lady of sorts. it is always a very touching story. they had one room on the second floor at valley forge. and they had an hour every morning that was sacred. one hour when they were absolutely not to be disturbed. wouldn't you like to be a fly on the wall of those conversations. because again, this means a lot.
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>> guest: what she did, it wasn't as entertaining the americans, she was entertaining officers from friends and from britain and from germany. she was able to charm them. one particular french officer said it was so wonderful to be there with her, drinking tea, singing, and just chatting. at the end of the evening, he would go home feeling better. can you imagine feeling better at valley forge? she had charmed the envoys. >> host: that is very important to know that she had an official role. acting as the assistant private secretary transcribing documents. >> guest: that did not happen often, that was a rare occasion. >> host: i gave her a glimpse of what the life was like. >> guest: that is true. >> host: what else were important in her development of first lady? >> one thing that i think is
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important is the change in her selling habits. many well to do women sewed embroidery and tapestry and fancy work. when she was there and local ladies came to call, she had been knitting needles out and she was knitting socks for the soldiers. but these were infantrymen. and they marched and they got big holes in their socks. she must have netted thousands of socks and encouraged others to as well as raising the money. she really physically, in terms of her work, and emotionally in terms of her leadership, helped to support the troops. >> guest: there is a wonderful story where a group of women had expected this very grand figure. to their astonishment, they
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found her wearing a speckled apron. so she clearly was not someone to stand on her position on her title. >> host: elizabeth is in washington dc. hello, elizabeth. >> caller: hello, thank you for being here. this series is fantastic. my question is about martha washington's grandchildren. you mentioned a couple of them. could you talk a little bit about the two mentioned earlier were found by a granddaughter. at least that's the story. could you talk a little bit about her relationship with her grandmother? >> guest: well, there were four children. allies, martha, known as patty, nelly, and then washington. when the adoption happen, they
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took the two youngest, they took nelly and wash. then the other to live with her stepfather and eventually reunited with their brothers and sisters. the two older girls spent a lot of time with washington's. they were very friendly with them. but they were not very loving with them. they weren't the same as the adopted children. patty got married very young for love. her husband, peter, he was a well-to-do man in georgetown. they built a beautiful house, which is an incredibly gorgeous place. at the sale, there was martha's desk. when she took it home, she found the wonderful letters. >> host: another reminder from martha johnson, she tweets that martha washington now with her
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four children. that's pretty unthinkable compared to today. but not so uncommon during this period of time in our history. the next phone call is edward from virginia. hello, you're on the air. welcome. >> caller: fascinating program. i am originally from new york. from the area known to washington. i'm wondering if martha was there with him. also at the component there, when they offered him the kinship. could you just expand on that, please? thank you. >> guest: she spent a lot of time at nuremberg. the war had pretty much worn down. it was just a case of waiting for the peace treaties to be ratified in all. as for the latter part, i don't
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think she was. >> guest: that defining moment, i don't think she was there. >> host: we have about 12 minutes more. we started out talking about the important white house years. our last segment is going to be on life after the presidency. when they returned to mount vernon. what those presidencies were like. >> guest: he was the first president and she shared in a. >> guest: they were just like to be home. >> host: was there any consideration on the third term? >> guest: no, there was not. he allowed himself to be persuaded against his instincts, but it was his patriotic duty.
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martha was not particularly happy when he took the first term. she recognized that it was unavoidable in her life had also become caught up in that of her country. i am not sure she would have divorced him, but the third term was from either one of their standpoint and. >> host: they were in their mid- 60s at this time. at that time, they were considered elderly. >> guest: he had ailments that almost killed him. she was terrified that the presidency would be so easily taken. it is a very aging kind of a job. >> host: we look at the political battles we are facing today over immigration and over
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the size of the federal government. what was the intensity of the political battles of this timeframe? >> remember that washington's success as president depended upon his persuading everyone that he was not a political partisan. he did not call it a federalist government. he called it a national government. he went out of his way to include all the sections of the country. hamilton and jefferson in the camera cabinet. he kept those people around him on after they wanted to leave. he was sacrificing and willing to see himself in the press as a dupe of king george. martha had a sever all of this vicariously. it has been harder in some ways for a first lady or a
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presidential child over the criticism that for the president himself. >> host: as you notice, she is political. >> guest: oh, she was. she took madison and jefferson into hatred. she hated thomas jefferson once he started his newspaper campaign. the reason is because of pete hamilton. he said it is a shame how much the president suffers from these sorts of attacks. but it's necessary to build up that party so well. she never said. he never realized that she was smart enough to see what he was doing. but she felt that he was horrible and the fact that he was elected president was shocking. >> guest: martha grew closer to
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the adams family. and she was certainly glad that it was john adams and did not thomas jefferson who won the presidency to succeed in. >> host: the next 90 minutes we will delve into the life of abigail adams. this helps set the stage. how many years did he live post-presidency i mount vernon. >> guest: she lived two years beyond him, so for your total >> host: how is their time together? >> guest: oh they had a great time. she reorganized the housekeeping. what is so interesting is that mount vernon becomes the symbol of the nation after they retire.
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there is no white house yet. washington dc is building up, but it doesn't really exist. when foreigners and important visitors come, what do they want to see? they want to see mount vernon in washington. after washington dies, they want to see martha washington and talk to her about what it was like. they see her as a remnant of that history. they continue to have this until they die, both of them. >> guest: he sat down and wrote a will. he identified them as citizens of the united states, not
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virginia. even more important, he made provisions to free the slaves that he could upon the death of martha. that is something that he had to have talked to her about, although that i don't think we have a primary evidence of that. >> host: after george washington died, she left the bedroom and moved to a garret in the mansion. let's see what that looks like today. >> george washington died suddenly and it must've been a shock. martha was very busy. she moves that chambers, it is to the third floor, and it is furnished with the actual bed that we believe came from the washington's in the 1750s from london. it is hung with hangings based on a fragment that was preserved
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in the 19th century valentine written by martha's granddaughter, nelly. it says that this is fabric from the curtain that hung in the room in which mrs. washington died. here at mount vernon. that fabric and little scrap of valentine exactly matches the description of the hangings that came with this bet that the washington's got in 1750. he points to this very romantic tale but after george washington died, martha washington moved upstairs but surrounded herself with things from the earliest days of their marriage. i think it really was a place of refuge for her. it was a place where the house continue to be busy. with servants and the slaves, people visiting. it was a place that she could really retreat to and be quiet and contemplate and you
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comically move from the hustle and bustle of daily life. >> host: when washington died, she said it is over. my life is just waiting. so she really and truly did not want to be in that room where they had been so happy. >> host: and she involved herself? you to stay involved with the activities of her day? >> guest: she would walk down the path, to what was the old tomb, what you can see today. she became more secluded. she would pray and basically, she was literally counting the days until she could be reunited. reunited with the love of her
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life. when you factor in the religious convictions, that is another factor. >> host: time for a final question from julie in alexandria. >> caller: hello, george washington and george mason were very good friends. george mason had two wives, and she passed away and then sarah. i was wondering what the relationship was between martha washington and neither of george mason slides? >> host: think you. >> guest: they were friendly neighbors as far as i knew. they never became intimate friends. >> guest: they had been friends and collaborators to the period leading up to the revolution. after the constitutional
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convention, which washington sanctioned and mason refused to sign, it really spelled out in end of the friendship. >> host: as someone once said, george and martha washington were quite the power couple. [laughter] bringing us full circle, what are the important things for people to know about the influence of martha washington? >> guest: i think it is important to know how smart and powerful she was and how dependent he was on her. his achievements were his achievements. but having her there with them make it much more possible. >> guest: i think that is true. she provides influence in the way that temporary americans might have difficulty. but the fact of the matter is she was the most into intellectl
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woman. >> host: if you'd like to learn more about the life of the first president and martha washington, you can check out our archives. this is the new book that is widely available for people who would like to know more. it is called patriarch. our partnership is the white house historical association. they have been helping us with documentary evidence and with background material as we get ready for this series. i would like to say thank you as we finish up his first program. we also have a group of academic advisers that richard norton smith is one of. you will see that as the program progresses. we thank them for this help for getting this series to air on c-span. if you'd like to learn more, c-span.org/first ladies. thank you for being with us tonight.
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♪ ♪ [music playing] ♪ ♪ [music playing] ♪ ♪ use it though ♪ ♪ >> this monday, a first lady who is considered modern for her time, abigail adams. sometimes called mrs. president by her people. she was outspoken about slavery and women's rights, and as a prolific writer, her life with
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john adams. we will visit boston, massachusetts, and philadelphia, pennsylvania, to explore her times and tragedies. we will take your comments on facebook and twitter at nine eastern next monday on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. our website has more about first ladies come including a special section, welcome to the white house, produced by the white house historical association, which chronicles life in the executive mansion during good tenure of each of the first ladies. with the association, a special edition of the first ladies of the united states of america, including a biography and portrait of each first lady, comments from historians, and michele obama's remarks.
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now available for $12.95 at c-span.org/products. >> c-span was created by america's cable companies in 1979. rocky was a public service by your television provider. >> on c-span2 tonight, a forum on how advances in technology affect privacy. then former house secretaries talk about fannie mae and freddie mac. and then automatic budget cuts or states. >> the housing commission released a report on monday calling for the elimination of fannie mae and freddie.
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it included henry cisneros, mel martinez, kit bond, julia stasch, frank keating and pamela patenaude. >> this is the target and it means mostly helping people secure private housing. which is assistance that is not mostly government own housing, but private housing and that is where most of the housing is. we need to make it more affordable. we will take a question from someone on this site. then if we could get through the next five minutes. yes, ma'am? >> i represent retired professionals and those that remain passionate about housing.
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when i started my career in the 1960s, fannie and freddie were created in the secondary market to incentivize private lenders to lend to people who normally would not be eligible for housing finance. so now that you are recommending that there be private sector bags taking on greater risks, they are not even fixing the problem that exists today, trying to help homeowners refinance their mortgages. how do you think that that will work? i guess i just don't get it. >> we tried to focus on the elements that are keeping things from being able to help today. the credit environment that exists today. ended making suggestions about stabilizing the regimen of rules that the banks work within so that they can get back to london.
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been involving the banks in a meaningful way in a system that includes, as we have stated repeatedly here, the government guarantor of a last resort guarantor. but an integrated system and a balanced system in which the rules are well established and should allow for liquidity and credit markets. that is the belief that we operate from. we believe without a government guarantor in the back end, that liquidity won't be possible. it takes a secure market to bring that about. but it doesn't take a government-sponsored enterprise to achieve that. i remember when they were not meeting their low income housing goals. they were led into a hole and come spectrum of people. for them to be winning to, what, 700,000 people were in that
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neighborhood? that is not hitting the poverty level. but here's something else to consider. it is not just about what we are discussing today. this rule just came out. >> we are going to start back at the beginning. we had a technical issue. this panel is calling for the elimination of fannie mae and freddie mac over a five year period of time to a ten-year period of time. this is about 50 minutes. [applause] thank you, pam.
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thank you for your leadership role. and also jason's role for and with the bpc. thank you, i am frank keating and i have been want to serve on the deficit panel, and i have been a member of the housing commission as well. the bipartisan policy center was founded just a few years ago by former and majority leaders of the united states senate. senators, members of the party, senators mitchell and senator daschle and the members of the party of senator baker and senator dole. the purpose of the policy commission is to come to consensus on issues of great urgency to the united states. whether it is the deficit panel or immigration or dodd-frank
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were housing challenges. all of us, we originally come together to present a bipartisan or even a nonpartisan solution so that our policymakers in this country can masticate and massage and come to a sound and permanent conclusion. the bpc is as government should work. and all of us who have had the honor of serving on one of these panels certainly appreciates their role. this particular panel will obviously wrestle with the future of the gse. we will hear more about that shortly. the future of single families and housing finance, the fact that it should be limited. the fact that it should be defined and paid for area all of these results were the result of
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a lot of people. in this case, 21 people spending 16 months vigorously debating the issues. i think you will be very pleased with the consensus of our panel. thank you very much for being here. i know that the commissioners will be introduced individually. but i would like to at this time introduce our next presenter, julia stasch, from the macarthur foundation who will give her perspective and overview as well. thank you for joining us today. [applause] >> thank you, governor keating. thank you to the commissioners and bpc. it has been an incredible opportunity for the foundation to support what has been a smart and sophisticated and contentious, but in the end, productive issue that is really central to our economy, critical
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and paramount importance to individuals and families. some of you might've been in the room a month ago at the lunch where i made it clear that the macarthur foundation supports this effort and it was not in a particular policy solution, but what we were hoping to be able to support was a process that would consider the facts, examine the evidence, and recommend a series of smart policy to address the housing sector, and that is exactly what we have. over the past 16 months it has been rewarding to watch the dynamics of this incredible group of leaders. they worked through ideas to come together around a set of principles that could help shape a consensus about the future of the nation's housing policy. they engaged in numerous print and trent practitioners, some of you thought that leaders and policymakers, during the time of their own liberation, irrelevant
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displays of housing data. i think the most important touchstone is the fact that it was grounded on a robust search agenda that took a look at the demographic trends and demand that these trends are going to place on our nation's housing infrastructure and finance system. we are hopeful that the the commission's report and ongoing operations, particularly over the next year, are going to keep housing in the midst of the most important policy debate. so we energize how we talk about the future housing investment priorities, but it is also going to come in and you're going to see this when he read the report, it will raise really constructive questions about the future and how to get the most out of what is certainly going to be limited resources in a highly competitive environment. i do not expect that there will
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be agreements with everything in this report. what i am hopeful for is that many segments of this industry can come together around key principles to do what i think all of us have happened, which is to generate a groundswell of activity and interest in this. a real kudos to the commissioners that engage in a truly bipartisan project to come to the consensus. now, at times, and i saw this firsthand, it seemed like an impossible struggle. but it was clear that everybody around the table believed in the power of the bipartisan voice on housing, and what that can bring future considerations of the importance of housing, its role in the economy, the role of government in the market, and how to make the system in the market work the most people.
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i think that is exactly what they have accomplished. i would like to thank them, and i would like to thank each and every one of you for coming today. i would like to invite the four cochairs to come to the stage and i would like to turn the podium over to senator george mitchell. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, very much. and thanks also to the macarthur foundation for its strong support. it has been a great pleasure for me to work with you and also with my fellow cochairs that are here. this really was an extraordinary commission, as many of you know, i have been involved with more than my fair share of commissions and organizations.
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this is one of the most effective but i have been involved with. i would like to take just a couple of minutes to introduce the members of the commission who our president who will not be speaking, but who made an important contribution to the work in describing each case a bit of the background. i will ask everyone to stand when i conclude going through all of the lists. karen is a private investment officer at hud during the administration of george w. bush. ed brady is a member of the executive board of the national associations of homebuilders and is on the board of directors of the federal homeland bank of chicago. rob couch was general counsel during the bush administration, and also served as president president of the government national mortgage association and is chairman of the mortgage
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bankers association. in a grabber is the president and chief executive officer of the atlanta housing authority. mr. keating, who you have heard from, served as the general counselor and is the president chief officer of the american bankers association. bruce morrison is the chairman of the federal housing finance board and served four terms as a democratic member of the u.s. house of representatives. janet is the president and chief executive officer of the national council and the executive vice chair at the university of kansas. man roland is the executive alliance to end homelessness.
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also the general deputy secretary of the federal housing commission in the administration of george w. bush. bob rosen is a partner with washington council of ernst & young. he was my legislative council when i served as majority leader and prior to that, part of senator ford. richard, will you tell me how to pronounce that once and for all? >> that was fine? okay. at least i could pronounce it. he is a member of the business roundtable and the policy advisers board for the director of housing for the consumer federation of america. he was a senior vice president of fannie mae and was president of the national low income housing coalition. i would like to say that there
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are a few members who are not here. we think them also for their efforts, and i would like to ask those who are here to please stand and be recognized. all of you please join me in thanking them for their efforts. [applause] now, some of you are here today. others around the country may ask why a housing commission? why this report? why now? the answer lies in the fact six years after the collapse of the housing market that caused so much chaos and suffering all around the country, the problems and housing remain both severe and urgent. today, far too many credit with the families are unable to obtain a mortgage. the credit pendulum has swung from one extreme to the other. blocking the path to homeownership and delaying a robust housing recovery. more than four years after
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fannie mae and freddie mac were placed into conservatorship, our nation still lacks a clear vision for the future of housing finance. the federal government's overwhelming presence in the mortgage market is unsustainable. we are also facing a rental crisis. federal rental assistance is inadequate to meet current needs, with only one in four eligible households actually receiving help. when we began our work 18 months ago, members of the commission established by principles that guided our deliberations over the past 16 months, and led to the conclusions in the report. those principles are a healthy and stable market, and the housing market is essential for a strong economy and a competitive america. second, the nation's housing finance system should promote
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the uninterrupted availability of affordable housing credit and investment capital while protecting american taxpayers. third, the united states should reaffirm a commitment to provide a decent home in a suitable living environment for every american family. next, the primary focus should be to help those most in need. finally, federal policy should strike an appropriate balance between homeownership and rental subsidies. these are broad principles. but when we began to apply them, as you approach the subject, you would find that you realize that they have tremendous and significant implications for policymakers. once you adopt the principles, they guide you to the
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conclusions. while the track record has not been perfect, working to meet the american people's diverse housing needs has traditionally been a bipartisan enterprise. if history is any guide, i'm i am optimistic that the commission's bipartisan recommendation will get a fair and full hearing, and i hope it will trigger a national debate that will lead to a farsighted policy and housing. in 1986, republicans and democrats came together to pass the tax reform act, a bill that received the support of a bipartisan majority in congress and was signed into law by president reagan. the key element was the low income housing tax credit. a program that i'm proud to offer. there was a simple explanation for this history of bipartisanship. it is americans of all backgrounds into we understand
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that entering access to decent and affordable housing is a goal essential to strive for. one that our country must commit to and never abandoned. thank you very much for your presence, i would like to call upon my fellow commissioner, the former senator and secretary of hud, mel martinez. [applause] >> senator, thank you so much. it has been a pleasure and honor to get to work with senator mitchell, as well as my cochairs. all of the commissioners who have come together to work in this remarkable effort that we ought to be a part of. the major focus of the work was developing a vision, a blueprint, if you will, for a new system of housing finance that can support homeownership and rental markets of the
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future. a strong and stable system is critical to our economy and absolutely essential for american families to continue to choose the type of housing that best suits their individual needs and lifestyles at every stage of life. in order to fulfill that mandate, the commission has five key planning recommendations. first, a far greater role for the private sector with credit risks. there is no question that a greater federal intervention was necessary when housing market collapse. but the dominant position of the government, which currently exists is unsustainable. more than 90% of single-family homeownership markets remain government supported in some form or fashion. reducing the government's footprint in some fashion and encouraging more private participation to protect taxpayers while providing for greater diversity of funding
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sources. the next recommendation is a continuation of more limited roles as the insurance backstop for catastrophic risk. it is insufficient capacity to meet the mortgage finance needs. a strong and vibrant and secondary market with insecurities is essential to freeing up additional capital for mortgage lending and collecting our nation's local housing markets to investors around the globe. with taxpayer protection of the central goal, the commission recommends that the federal guarantee be number one, explicit, and fully funded. number two is the predominant loss position that has been fully exhausted. third, applying only to the securities themselves. in many respects, the model that
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we have endorsed is similar to the one that is played today. the elimination of fannie mae and freddie mac over a transitional time of five to 10 years, the commission believes the business model publicly traded companies, with an implied government guarantee, should not be replicated. the commission recognizes whether this transition will be necessary. we support the current efforts to reduce the footprint through reducing the gst loan limits and scaling back the portfolios. we also believe that the pricing structure should move closer to a one might have in the capital markets. ensuring access for all borrowers. this is a core principle for us, for housing finance of the
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future, it must be one for all americans that can benefit on equal terms. finally, the federal housing administration, primarily serving first-time homebuyers and borrowers saving for a down payment. concerns over the solvency of age of fha only goes to underscore the urgency of what we have talked about. a system in which private capitalists is plentiful and it is reducing the pressure and allows us to perform a traditional mission more effectively. our proposals for the multi-housing family system is rooted in the very same principles as single-family reform. a greater role for at-risk
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private capital and continued government precedence with a limited guarantee, the gradual wind down in the form of the fha to improve administrative efficiency and avoid crowding out private market. in addition to affordability requirements, it will ensure that the system currently supports housing affordable to low and moderate households. it provides considerable detail about the individual components of the housing finance system that we envision. it describes rupture and responsibilities of the new government entity that we call the public didn't work. i will -- that entity will administer the limited catastrophic backstop and it outlines the roles of the rest of the system. originators, more and private entities that will credit enhanced the securities.